Welcome to My Royally Wrecked Space to Chill...

I hope you find comradery...I hope you find peace....I hope you find joy...I hope you find acceptance...I hope you feel loved...I hope you know that your are precious...chosen...and always welcome here...come sit a spell...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wide Open Spaces of Grace

I never stood tall.
I had the most beautiful shoes (thanks mom). I had gorgeous clothing.
I had the man. I had the kids. I had the house.
I had the talk.
I had the walk.
I had "it". The American Dream. Or so everyone and I thought...
But I never stood tall...
I'm studying Romans this week and read this passage in Chapter 5:
"We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise."
The beauty of this passage fills me...What a God...What a beautiful Lover....

Wide open spaces...the mere visual of this passage sets my heart soaring...
I read on...
6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
I am again flooded with the beauty of these words...
Really? He didn't wait for me to "get ready"? He put His love on the line for me? So I could simply...stand tall?

This God...this Lover of my soul...Pursues me with reckless abandonment simply for...ME.

No ulterior motive...No secret plan...ME.

I was and still am of "no use whatsoever" to him...completely replaceable...yet he pursues...with fervor and kindness...he pursues...

This brings me to tears...
Back to the standing...I stand tall now.
Funny thing is, I own less shoes. I've lost all my possessions. I am homeless (in a sense). I don't have a spouse. 
I'm just standing...tall...because He IS...and I am in HIM...
And it's cool...Life is good. 
Some days are...lonely...
Some days are...slow...
Some days are...full of life...
Some days are...wreckers to the heart...
Some days are...pure bliss...
But I stand tall...because I've finally found my worth, my life, my identity in Him.
What a God. 
What a Lover.
He is mine. I am HIS. 

And for the first relationship in my life...We are both enough. I'm accepted. I'm loved. I'm free in Him. He is free in me. 

Incomparable wide open spaces...
Grace n Peace,
A ~

Monday, June 27, 2011

Expector Bond er....Smith

I am the queen of expectations...

I have expectations of how people will love me...how people will respond to my love...how people will think like me...understand me...be thrilled when I am thrilled...

It's been a total bummer.

Expectations are a total kill joy.

I heard once (paraphrase) that expectations are "future resentments." Another words, when I have an expectation of how someone will be my cheerleader, savior, friend, or basically...anything... I am setting myself and them up for massive resentment and failure.

I literally just watched this play out in my life. I had a situation that was very dear to me. I shared it thinking a certain response should be given (the response I would give). When the response came and it was not close to my expectation I was angry and sad. Dare I say...bitter?

After years of therapy and God talk, I knew instantly that the reaction in no way changed the awesomeness of the situation for me. I can celebrate successes all on my own with God. People don't have to get on board with me. It's a heck of a lot funner if they do, but if they don't IT IS STILL FREAKIN' AWESOME!!! :-)

At the end of the day, it's about my pride and probably acceptance issues.

I want to be cheered.

I want to be loved.

I want to be accepted.

I want my friends and relationships to be thrilled when I am.

I'm human. I have needs.

When it doesn't happen in that format, I still have to keep my heart pure. I still have to love. I still have to cheer. I still have to accept. It's not negotiable. I'm His. I don't have another option.

There lies the beauty (reoccurring theme): I'm His.

I don't have to waste days of my life (years of my life) trying to gain acceptance and a cheer squad. I already have one! He is the biggest, awesomest, most limber cheerleader in the Universe....and get this...He's my cheer captain!!!!

Jesus told us in the beatitudes (Matthew 5:5) 5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

Being content is being cool with God and who he made me to be. Sometimes...Jesus and I cheer alone. And THAT. Is OK. I am the proud owner of a really cool gift: Myself and God. 


I will always long for acceptance, love, and accolades...but now they are shifted to my Love Jesus. The rest is nice and I still have to work through immediate reactions to unfulfilled expectations...but I'm accepted. I'm loved. I'm treasured. I'm His.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AMANDA!!!! (I had to...you know I had to....)

I love you Jesus :)

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Line Laundry at 4 am and Stargazing...


I decided to go out and grab my clothes drying on the line...(I rather like clothes lines)

And I decided to lay down on my back and stay present...

It was the most amazing sound machine you've ever heard...crickets...wind through the trees...

Star laid upon star...moon bright and shining...

It was...spectacular...

If only I could do justice to the moment...

Remember friends...Stargaze when you feel it...stop in the moment...you'll be ever so glad you did...

Grace N Peace,

A ~

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Taco Truck of God

I've been "off"...


Quicker to snap...less joyful...more involved in activities that make me "float"...

1 am last night finds me with a babe beside me and a cry in my heart...for Him...

I am struck by the pure realization that I cannot allow one single day without his utter guidance and relationship...

I have gotten up this week and spent time in devotions, blogs centered around him, and SMALL sections of the love letter He wrote to me...AHA!

It's like my Laine...I could probably leave her in the house for a few days and she could (flounderingly...YES I know this is not a word) provide her basic needs and survive...Yet, she wasn't created to survive AND she was created for me to protect, love, and be in relationship with her. I fulfill her needs at this point in life. 

Same with God. I can get out there and feed off blogs and well written articles by fellow God Lovers (and I do, and they propel me) but at the end of the day I need Him. In LARGE quantities. I wasn't created to survive...I was created to wring the life out of this world one awesome day at a time!

Matthew 5 leads me this morning to deep pastures of peace with my Lover:

 3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
 4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
 5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
 6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.


Sometimes we have to come back to the source. Even when we've only been starving ourselves for a few days. We're not good enough, smart enough, and doggone it...not enough people like us without Him (Thank you Stuart Smalley for that SNL inspiration), for us to find sustenance outside of His table. Why would we anyway? The BEST MEAL YOU'LL EVER EAT?!!? Come on' can I get a witness?!!? :-)

I'm gettin' back on track. I'm in the midst of a major restructure of my home...er room...I share with my babes. I'm working through my materialism addiction (More to come on that). I'm taking a FaceBook break and I'm enjoy the days of summer with my babes. After my relationship with Him, they are second. 

I'll never have these days again...I can't afford to eat "junk food". 

Don't get me wrong...I'll still be reading my favorite blogs. I'll still be reading a massive amount of books every week. I'll still be reading CNN.com. These things feed my brain and soul.

I just won't let those things come first. I'll keep feeding at the cool taco truck of God. The rest will be desert :-)

Grace N Peace,

A ~

Friday, June 24, 2011


I recorded Gene Simmons "Family Jewels" yesterday. I watched the two episodes that chronicled Shannon Tweedy's breakdown and subsequent leaving of the family home.

It was utterly real. Sympathetic. And sobering.

I watched as Gene and Shannon's grown children grappled with the separation of their parents. They hurt. They cried.

Gene was lost. He puttered around his home like a wanderer...unsure what to do next. Completely lost without his partner of 28 years.

He went to therapy. He got real. He recognized that he could not lose this woman that had devoted her life and love to Him. He (gasp!) needed her. It was beautiful.

This is where it hit me...

We sell men short. We expect too little out of these marvelous creatures then write about them when they fall like buffoons. Shannon let Gene grapple in his addictions and liaisons for too long. She taught him that his behaviour was OK. What could have happened if she put her foot down years ago? Less heartache? Less baggage?

I was tweeting back and forth with Lauren Lankford yesterday about the ridiculous articles written for and about men. It's demeaning. Really? How to teach a man to communicate? How to "get" a man with 10 steps? REALLY?

Do we not have more faith in men than this? Can they not find their voice and way in Christ like women?

I think they can.

And not 20 years too late.

Here's the lesson: People will rise to what you expect of them. Including men.

You expect them to be uncommunicative, unloving philanders? You just might get it!


Expect the best out of yourself and your men. Not perfection. Not full understanding of womankind. But their personal best.

Do it...and they just might surprise you...

Gene did...

Grace N Peace,

A ~

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I was perusing CNN.com late last night and I came across the Joy Behar interview with KISS front man, Gene Simmons and his partner of 28 years Shannon Tweedy. They have had a reality show on A & E for a few years I believe. I've watched it.

The Simmons family comes across as fun loving, committed, and happy. Shannon and Gene have two grown children together.

Back to the interview...apparently Gene sleeps with women all over and has throughout the duration of the relationship. Shannon is done. She actually walked off the set in anger. How sad.

Believe me, I have no judgement for Shannon's choices as I have had to make hard ones myself and often they were not correct. But the situation saddened me deeply.

Here is this beautiful, smart, loving woman...who has given 28 years of her heart and life to a man that could not keep his sexual desires and practices within the confines of marriage. (Even though he never married Shannon)

I shudder to think that other women out there are making similar choices...out of "love"....

I don't know what led Shannon to stay within her relationship...I respect her choices. However, I hope that we will begin to see a surge of God-worth and God-love amongst this new generation of informed, smart, devoted women who will stop the madness.

God loves us. He really is enough. Choices that wreck the body and soul of a woman should not be repeated. I pray we begin to see a wave of understanding and acceptance of ourselves in God so that these types of situations are annihilated. Yes. Annihilated.

God wants his children to live loved. I truly believe He wants ALL of us to live fulfilled and treasured. We don't have to be in a relationship to get these treasures...God is enough all on his own.

Proverbs 11:22 Says "As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion."

Lack of discretion does not have to only mean sexual imprudence or a mouth that runs haywire...It can also mean a lack of discretion to protect oneself from people and situations that devalue you. I've watched some of the most beautiful women allow their discretion to "lack" because they couldn't stand the thought of losing...

Losing "him"....

Losing "face"...

Losing "lifestyle"...

Losing "spirituality"...

Discretion means listening within to God's workings and movings...and HEEDING. Worth requires hard choices and standing strong sometimes. But when you really believe God says you're worth it...then you have no other choice.

I love you all...Be Discretionary to yourselves...Love yourself through God's eyes...the rest is cherries!

Grace N Peace,

A ~

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Joss Stone...The Voice of Jesus? :-)

(Disclaimer: For the record...I count my story as a total lightweight compared to some of yours. I am thrilled to carry my load as opposed to the load some of you beautiful people carry. I have encountered "light" burdens compared to the sufferings of this world. This is just a story about my small sufferings and others opinions towards it. Jules, thanks for the inspiration. You believe in me. It's very, very cool. and YOU are too.)

Joss Stone. Inspiration for my daily blog? Really?

Tis' true you spiritual guru's...God can work through anyone, anything, anywhere...It's just how cool He really is...

I was seated on my couch that I go to for devotional time...reviewing inspirations...and I get a text from my friend Jules...It says "Listen to Joss Stone...Bruised but not broken. Clear the area...u going doooown!!"

At first, I fell out laughing. Then (given this woman knows her stuff and my story) I instantly download the song.

She's right.

Clear the area.

But not how you would imagine...

I've had a journey of heartaches. No doubt. I've been one of those stories that people whisper behind you "God love her...she's all alone with those babies. She's so STRONG."

Yes. Oh Yes.

I've had to accept numerous offers of help and assistance. Outpourings of love but crushing to the ego.

I've had to let my dreams of what I thought God promised me die. In order to form new dreams.

Yet...here's the deal...It's been AMAZING!!!

I actually crack up at the whispers. The "poor hers"...The "She's so strong (Blah)"...The "Great things ahead for yous"...

Because while people look at the happenings in my life as negatory and hurtful...my God...THEY ARE BLESSINGS!!!

I am surrounded by all types of people...and I watch...I listen...and some are so encumbered by the weight of their "dreams"...It breaks me...

I'm free! It has taken 20 years and many tears, stumbling, embarrassments...but I'm free. I am not weighted to a "dream" that is based on status quo...based on the "American Dream"...

God. Had. A. BIGGER. Dream.

Just...for me.

And it's pretty rockin'!!!

Know what the beginning of that dream was? HIM.

I lost every dream I thought I wanted....to gain the ultimate dream reality. HIM!

I'm WINNING!!! (Thanks Charlie :-) )

So...long story short...sometimes we have grandiose visions of perfect relationships, big homes, loads of Jimmy Choos, perfect bodies...and all the while...God has a bigger sumpin' sumpin' waiting in the wings...and after we mourn the loss of the former...HIS later gift of HIM and HIS dreams...absolutely blows those Choo Shoes right out of the boat...

Keep Truckin' friends...He's got bigger things for you.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

"Bruised But Not Broken"

Been alot that I've been through
I cried a tear a time or two
Baby, you know I cried some over you, yeah
Had my heart kicked to the ground
Love ripped me up and tore me down, baby

But that ain't enough to break me
Cuz I'll rise above it
And I'll pick myself up
And I'll dust the pain off my heart

And I'll be alright
And I'll love again
And the wounds will mend
I'm bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I'll get back on my feet
It's not the end of me
My heart is still open
I'm bruised but not broken

Been alot of tears stained nights
I thought the tears were here for life, baby
The hurt came on and held on tight, yeah
Took a chance, I took a fall
Love broke my heart and shattered all my dreams
But I won't be down on my knees
Cuz I'll rise above it
And I'll pick myself up
And I'll shake the rain out of my heart

And I'll be alright
And I'll love again
And the wounds will mend
I'm bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I'll get back on my feet
It's not the end of me
My heart is still open
I'm bruised but not broken

Gonna pick my heart up
Take my life back
Shake the hurt away
Pull myself together, put the pieces back in place
I learned love's so hard
Love left my soul scarred
I was shattered inside

And I'll be alright
And I'll love again
And the wounds will mend
I'm bruised but not broken
And the pain will fade
I'll get back on my feet
It's not the end of me
My heart is still open
I'm bruised but not broken 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gettin' a life...

Insomnia. Again.

So I stumble through the house...run into the ottoman...turn on the lamp...and begin to read...

I'm hungry. Hungry for God. Hungry for truth.

I read in John. Passages that I've heard all my life. So much so that I've become numb to their power. Numb to the truth inside THE words.

THE words written in red. HIS words.

I read John 14:6 "Jesus said to him 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

I reread.

The Way.

The Truth.

The Life.

Revelation takes hold and I am astounded that I have not received this passage into my spirit before. The sheer power of the words shake my soul and astound me.

So...HE is the way. All those long days and nights I've spent searching for an answer to the soul questions. The heartaches, fears, and wanderings that living in this life bring. All along the answer was simple. All along in my wanderings of which way to go...HE was the way. Nothing was required of me but to surrender to HIM.

So...HE is the truth. All those lies I believed about myself for so long...

"You're not equal..."

"You're not pretty enough..."

"You're not GOOD enough..."

"You're an impostor..."

"You'll NEVER be happy."

"You'll NEVER be at peace."

"You'll NEVER be loved...because you are unlovable..."

Those lies I believed all my life to be Truth...were never THE truth. HE was my truth. HE paid the price so that I might live. Sounds simple, I know. Yet, I could not grasp it. Could not live it. Until the lies were exposed and HE became my truth.

When He said...

"You're not equal. You're royalty. MY royalty."

"You are beautiful in my sight. JUST AS YOU ARE."

"You'll never be good enough...you don't have to be. I AM goodness."

"You're not an impostor. You're my child."

"Peace I give you. The world can never take that away. NEVER."

"You are lovable. I loved you so much I died for you...and I would do it again. Just for YOU."


Then it all comes together for me in the wee hours of the morning...If he is my way and truth...then all that is left is LIFE.


Life...abundant life!!!

All these years, trying to "get a life"....trying to sate the inner demons that said "Do this. Then!" or "Go here. Then!" or "Devote to that one. Then!"

Then...then you'll "get a life..."


HE is life. When I am found in Him...I'm living a life so UN-ordinary....so unfettered with the lame ideas the world offers to living extraordinarily.  I'm living FREE. HE becomes my life. HE, the perfect one, becomes my truth. HE, the perfect one becomes the way I travel, the way I see myself, the way I live out  every glorious minute of every glorious day.

How expansive my heart suddenly feels. How blessed to know. Finally. Life really is beautiful. Because of HIM. HE IS LIFE.

Now that He's gotten all THAT out of the way....I'm gonna grab a cup of Joe and head out to watch the sun rise up over the mountain. :-)

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Sunday, June 19, 2011

James Frey...Oprah...and Truth

I watched the original James Frey interview when Oprah chose his memoir "A Million Little Pieces" for her book club.

I also watched the next interview where Oprah called James out for his "truthiness" within the memoir.

So I was thrilled that Oprah decided to have James back on her last season. The two day interview with James and Oprah was utterly beautiful.

James and Oprah shared beautiful moments of reconciliation. It was such a wonderful portrait of healing and forgiveness.

The background was that James was an addict that had recovered through therapy. He wrote a memoir that was based on his life but did also contain fiction. It was presented to Oprah's book club and then it was later revealed that James' memoir was not fully truthful. Oprah had James back on the show to basically set him straight for her readers sakes. It was awful.

I remember feeling so sorry for James (even though he was wrong). So again, I was glad the third interview happened.

The beauty of this process for me was that Oprah recognized her ego and lack of compassion towards Frey. Frey sat and took the beating in the second interview like a trooper. He did not disappoint in the third interview.

This man...this man embarrassed in front of the world...came back and was utterly open...utterly true to himself...utterly messy....utterly authentic...

And it struck me...he had lost it all...he had nothing left to lose....so truth didn't hurt anymore....thus authenticity...

Oprah was equally authentic in her admission of Ego...how big of this ultra powerful woman to admit that she was being driven by pride and ego...HUGE...


I can sympathize and empathize...James Frey...even though I'm not an addict of substance...I was an addict....





And I lost it all...and I found myself...and there is nothing left to lose...

Because in losing myself and all around me....I found authenticity....truth for myself...God...and significance...

I salute James for being true to himself and open with the world....Bravo!

We need more people in this world that will stand up and speak their failures, triumphs, and truths...

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mission of Motherhood

Hi friends! I've been MIA for a couple of weeks. Whew!

What a whirlwind! I've had such beautiful moments. Grateful.

I've received the acceptance letter into my RN program. Huge moment. I had to stop and breathe a moment and take it in. These moments don't come often. They must be savored.

So the last 6 days I spent with a rowdy group of 5 children ranging from age 1 to age 8.5. It was AMAZING.

I am reminded in these moments that I truly adore being a mother. I was with one of my dearest friends Chrysta and we just had the best time...living out life with one another and our 5 children.

I watched this mother of 3 young boys extend grace, love, and peace in ways that are only exhibited in a follower of Christ. She mirrored the Gospel to them in every way. I was filled with love for this family. My family although not of blood origin. This. This is the meaning of living out life.

It is discipling children together. It is cleaning messy floors together. It is giving your best foods to another family. It is messy. It is intentional. It is fullness of the love Christ mirrored.

I began reading "The Ministry of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson last night. Amazing.

She states "He (Jesus) chose to tie the chords of his heart to theirs with the strong and unbreakable bond of a loving, serving relationship. Jesus spent the last night on earth with his disciples in service to them...Jesus showed us the power of a different kind of leadership. He lived with his disciples. He was with them when they were joking, tired, angry, clever, questioning. He walked with them in the presence of Pharisees and religious leaders as well as in the quiet of their own homes."

What a glorious portrait of Motherhood from a Father...Jesus. He taught us how to love our children by loving His twelve disciples. He served them. Corrected them. Washed their dusty feet. Fed them. When he was undoubtedly tried and wanted to rest, He served.


I'm loving this journey of the thirties with my babes...my friends...my family...and my God. It is one of servitude, humility, and expectancy.

I'm thrilled I get to live it out with such good peeps.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ramblings on the Radical

I sat on the edge of my bed. On the very cusp of thirty. Exhausted. With a deep knowing I was at the end of myself.

It was the beginning of Him. I had no idea where I was headed at that point in my life almost 5 years ago...I just knew I was at the end of me.

Thus began the beginning of Him.

This God. This great big beautiful God. He loves me. Yes. Oh how He loves me in a very David Crowder feeling way. Yet. He is God. He longs for more in me.

It's not just about His extension of grace. After all, He is just and He craves righteousness towards Him.

The end of my self-fullness is the beginning of His self-invasion.

I'm reading "Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream" by David Platt and I don't mind telling you it's wrecking me heart and soul.

God has been working on my psyche for about 9 months now. Swirling about in my heart issues, my theologies, my addictions to "stuff" and "safety" and "control".

I'm just starting to get it. It comes with a price. A price I'm finally willing to pay. Because the price I must pay to not walk in discipleship is far too high.

So tonight I find myself in a hotel room, alone (hallelujah!). I am roused from a deep sleep by the phone that rings with fresh problems. Issues to solve. And I have a moment.

"A sit on the side of the bed" moment. I think to myself. I wish someone were here to share this with me. To help me. In this exact moment, I'm lonely.

I speak it aloud. He responds "You're not alone. I'm here."

Peace be still. And just like that I realize no matter the price I pay...it will never be too high to have THIS with HIM.

I don't know what my continued redemption and calling to Christ will cost me. I don't mean to imply that being single is my price. I don't believe that. But I do believe that in the moments I try to build ANY idol to substitute Him as supreme lover, supplier, friend, redeemer, and master in my life then I am forced with a choice to take the step and pay that price. Or lose Him and pay a price that will ultimately lead to my salvation and life lost. Sometimes it seems the price to pay to walk with Him is steep...lonely...so intentional...but once the price is made...and most often totally opposite of the "American dream"...I find that it was only in the action of the making of the choice that the price was steep. Because in the walking that follows the choice...He is there with me...I am not alone.

Ramblings of a Redheaded Hippie God Lover I know...but I'm so overwhelmed at this great big redemptive God of mine...it makes me all fluttery and "veclempt" like a young school girl trippin' on her braces and gangly legs.

Following will cost you. It's just up to us what you're willing to pay. And to whom you will pay it.

Grace N Peace,

A ~

Sunday, June 5, 2011


10 bags of cheddar whales. 10 Gatorades. 10 smores granola bars.

All labeled with my girl's name on them. 

All packed carefully for camp. 

These. Are. My. Moments.

I catch myself sitting, labeling the items and ironing. 6 am. Loving this. 

I will worry about her one thousand times over. Fret if she's happy. Wish I could be there...

This. This is my girl. My firstborn. My beginning of the beautiful triplicate that would in time include my baby Luv...our laughter and excitement.

I have adored every moment to now. I have wept with joy, frustration, and pain for them. 

But. These. These. Are. My. Moments.

Syd is all gangly legs and toothy grins. Deeper than most and a natural scholar. She's all heart and guarded. Ever so guarded. Life never gets by her. She is constantly aware of causes and my bank account. Quick to ask "I'm not spoiled am I?" Or "No, I don't need that." when other girls would take it. She's all worry and heart.

Laine is all smiles and effervescence. Life is one big party and her heart is on her sleeve. She never meets a person she doesn't like (except girls that "always try to be pretty"). She always ALWAYS befriends the underdog...even if it's a tree or a ladybug. She's the babe that catches fireflies in a jar then let's them all go 10 minutes later because she doesn't want them caged. 

My girls. 

These. Are. My. Moments.

I'm quite sure one day I'll be drug into therapy with them for issues I've created in their lives...but for now...I'm pretty hopeful that these two little babes are rockin' and rollin' in life. Lovers of God and Life...this triplicate...we're in the moments...

Thank you for letting me walk the lane...

Grace n Peace, 

A ~

Saturday, June 4, 2011

God of the Fireflies

This will be a quickie...as usual, I've waited till the last minute to compose a family of three for 2 weeks of travel ahead...

Tis my way...

So today will be crammed with laundry....errands...fight break ups...and gratitude...

I'm not sure why...but I find myself often drawn to tears lately as I think of Him...

I am filled with gratitude to His greatness...His sovereignty...His love...

I stood last night with the babes...swatting mosquitoes...chasing fireflies...

Processing concerns and I stopped in my tracks..."God...If you can do something this wonderful. To provide a field full of fireflies on a summer night...then you can provide the life we need."

I went on to read later that night the following "Live life on Life's terms. Expectations are premeditated resentments."

I was again reminded to Trust Him. To live life as it comes. I relaxed into Him and prepared for the week.

Fast forward to morning...

I awake this morning to a call from a dear friend and mentor. "Can you come? I have an opening next week to work." 

Prayers whispered in the night for provision...answered...again..

Fireflies of God...they light up my heart and sustain me....continue to impress upon my heart that struggles to trust...

"I AM."

Yes. He is. 

May your weekend be filled with fireflies of God and awakenings beyond your wildest imaginations.

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Lover

The ink sinks into my skin...runs and he wipes the excess clean with his cloth...

I close my eyes...determined to stay present in the moment and attached to the thought of my Lover...

I whisper mind prayers...love notes to this Savior..."I. Am. Yours."

He whispers back..."You. Are. Mine."

I want to weep as I realize the ultimate depths of His unfailing love affair with me...

The only love affair that I have been engaged in that has not left me deflated...wandering...longing for more...

He relentlessly pursues me...calls my name in the night..."Come..."

And when I come to him in the darkness...He never turns me away...arms always open...consistently waiting to embrace me...

As I sit this morning...nursing my coffee...musing about life...I am often drawn to tears...

Because I realize that this walk with my Lover is paved with decisions that I probably most often wouldn't make without Him...

Decisions I would selfishly engage in and follow with my flesh...engagements that would excite my flesh and thrill the the human soul with delicacies only possible without Him...

But I look to the ink...the ink of the written pages...and I'm reminded again...I am not my own...and I must make the hard decisions again and again...sometimes the lonely decisions...to commune exclusively...and forsake other lovers that vie for my attentions and affections...

I begin to read in Isaiah 43...I'm smitten...all over again...tears well...and I shut my eyes...lay mussed head on the leather and say..."I'm yours. What would you have me to do?"

I listen...and I comply...

I look to the ink again...this time on my wrist...and I am reminded...I. Am. His. 

"His" is a place that is fearless but sometimes lonely...I pay a price to go to the deep places with Him...because others cannot go with us...Lovers cannot invite a third...but the loneliness is of THIS world...this lover...Oh He is other-worldy...forever supplying the love that my soul craves...I am His.

1But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

Grace n Peace,

A ~

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bright and Beautiful...

Laine is just fine bathing once a week. She couldn’t care less about black feet, black nails and a dirty face. She “feels” clean. She often says “I took a bath YESTERDAY.” She honestly believes in her heart that she’s clean enough…that she “passes”…

I do this too. ALL THE TIME. Don’t get me wrong I bathe every day! But in a spiritual sense…I do this all the time. I go to God…spend time…repent…come out shiny and new ready to face the world and it’s challenges. I go out, go to school, deal with bills, worry about money and life, come back in dirty…but I don’t FEEL dirty. I don’t see the dirt under my fingernails. So I skip the bath…I skip the restoration…because hey…I’m BUSY…I’m WORKING for him…One day won’t hurt…

I wake up the next day…covered in dirt…face splattered…hair tangled..and I go out…into a world desperate with sin, perversion, hurt, angst…and I LOOK just like THEM…so I blend in…completely….no one gives me a second glance…why should they? They are covered in filth as I am there is no reason to look twice as I do not have anything to offer that they don’t already possess…and herein lies my sin…

I know it is my mandate to love all people…it is my mandate to establish community with His children and shine…but my sin often lies in the fact that I’m so dirty myself that I cannot shine…I cannot be seen as anything different that what they already possess…worry…doubt…fear…anxiety…anger…loss…superiority…judgement…

I will NEVER be any better than any other human being. But GOD is. And when I submit to Him my failings and struggles…I empty me and fill with HIM…

If I were clean from the spiritual practice of relationship and repentance…I would offer peace for worry…I would offer security for doubt…I would offer power for fear…I would offer love for anxiety…I would offer calm for anger…I would offer offerings for loss…I would offer acceptance for superiority…I would offer community for judgement…

These are the signs of a well bathed God Lover…

Colossians 1:10-12 says

“We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”

God does not intend for us to walk through the world dirty…with gritted teeth…He intends for us to SPILL with joy…

Spill interprets to me to “get everything wet that it touches”… With JOY.

No one should come in contact with me (including my children and family) that does not leave more infused with joy.

Here’s the really interesting part…”thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”

I often think that “taking part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for me” should be joyous…it should be free…it should be EASY…

But I find Paul asking God to give us strength to take part…interesting…

Could it be that Paul knew that living in a messed up, human, sinful world would make it difficult to SEE the “bright and beautiful” things He has for us?

Could it be that Paul knew that God Lovers would need to be STRONG and empowered to LOOK for the “bright and beautiful” of the world? Because so much of what we encounter around is us dismal and dirty? ALL of us…believers and NON-believers…


So back to the bath…I find for myself that if I do not take my body, heart, mind and soul to the bath of God every morning, I will not lead my day in the “bright and beautiful.” I am more prone to anger. I am more prone to pride. I am more prone to judgement. I am more prone to “busyness”.

The ONLY way for me to live a beautiful life is to bathe daily in the Word and wash my heart in His love and mercy.

This bathing…this ritual…it is yes…first for me and my saving…but then second it makes me a disciple…because it washes the filth that the others around us are trying to escape…it shows them there IS a way to live unfettered. There is a way to live free. And they are made STRONG and empowered to look for their OWN “bright and beautiful”.

Let’s wash behind our ears friends…I want for all of us to dwell in the “bright and beautiful”…

Grace n Peace,

A ~